J McNally, Living Traces Exhibition 2016, Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project

The Recordkeeping and the Rights of the Child Research Program aims to bring researchers across a range of disciplines together with community and practice advocates to re-imagine recordkeeping and archiving systems in support of responsive and accountable child-centred out-of-home care and as enablers of historical justice and reconciliation. It builds on the pioneering work of the 2004-8 ARC Linkage Trust and Technology Project and the 2008-10 Who am I? Project, and is an integral part of the Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child Initiative’s action agenda.

Caring Records – Whyte Fund Project 2021-23

Caring Records is a collaboration between information management researchers in the Faculty of IT at Monash University (Associate Professor Joanne Evans and Research Fellow Barbara Reed) and child protection researchers at the Australian Centre for Child Protection at the University of South Australia (Research Fellow Dr Martine Hawkes). We are .investigating the intrinsic and embedded barriers to rights-based and child-centred recordkeeping in child protection contexts.

An exciting interdisciplinary collaboration between recordkeeping, information law and human rights scholars in Australia and the UK to develop a dynamic, digitally enabled, real-time, rights based recordkeeping governance framework.

Rights in Records by Design – ARC Discovery 2017-19

This interdisciplinary research project aims to use a participatory action research approach to:

  • model the lifelong recordkeeping needs of children in out-of-home care as a complex information ecology,
  • explore mechanisms within this model for enabling and supporting agency in the creation, capture, management, and use of records,
  • design an innovative and adaptive interoperability framework incorporating supporting policies, protocols, and tools,
  • investigate innovative uses of recordkeeping analytics that deploy smart content and context analysis and information visualisation in interfaces and system interactions, and
  • define the governance, accountability, monitoring, and auditing requirements of the framework.

This research will enhance understanding of participatory paradigms across the disciplines, professions and communities involved in the project with a particular focus on the ways in which digital and networking information technologies may be designed to represent and support multiple rights in records.

Connecting the Disconnected – ARC Future Fellowship 2015-18

This project aims to:

  • Investigate and develop a participatory archival design science methodology to support the inclusive design of recordkeeping and archival systems.
  • Iteratively develop a reference model of participatory recordkeeping and archival services, constructed around principles of co-creation, metadata interoperability and consciously embracing the spiritual and emotional, alongside the physical and intellectual, dimensions of records.
  • Advance capacities for the clever use of metadata to drive interactive interfaces for creating and linking records to layers of context, enabling resource discovery and use, ongoing annotation, and linkages across community, government and institutional recordkeeping and archival environments.
  • Further develop protocols and strategies for inclusive research in partnership with communities.

Imagined Archive Project – Monash Faculty of IT 2017

The Imagined Archive Project aims to co-research and co-create with Care Leaver advocates, a pop up exhibition to promote conversations about the identity, memory and accountability needs for childhood out-of-home care. The pop up exhibition will be a feature of the Setting the Record Straight: For the Rights of the Child Summit in May 2017, and will be used to initiate and develop conversations around systemic transformations at the event and as part of the campaign for change that is part of the associated ongoing Setting the Record Straight: For the Rights of the Child Initiative. Its impact will be evaluated through a series of encounter workshops to explore across community, professional and other stakeholder groupings how it might aid in creating and progressing transformation agendas.

PhD Research Projects

Transforming archival systems design for interoperability (Greg Rolan)

This research project is investigating the design of archival systems for equitable access to records.The aim is to transform the design of archival systems as infrastructure for digital equality through participatory recordkeeping. With the capability to interconnect archival systems and enable appropriate access to records by all stakeholders, record-holding organisations will be able to meet their ethical and legal responsibilities to the community.

An exploration of recordkeeping literacy for early childhood education (Catherine Nicholls)
This research aims to contribute understandings of the role recordkeeping literacy might play in early childhood education.  Interviews with families about their recordkeeping practices will inform the field.  Early childhood educators are required to form a partnership with parents and recordkeeping is part of this.  Through this research the aim is to discover how recordkeeping might support a stronger connection between families and teachers in the context of early childhood education.  Recordkeeping literacy is a concept that may well support aspects of the early curriculum framework in Australia that calls for identity, communication and contribution to be explored as part of the educational endeavour in early childhood.